Jump-Start Your Writing Practice Boot Camp

Self-Guided // 4-Week Online Course

Jump-Start Your Writing Practice Boot Camp

January 18th - February 12th

It’s never too late to start!
Enrollment is OPEN through February 5th


Refund and cancellation policies


Do you have a personal story you want to write, but you’re not sure where to start? Do you want to start a writing practice but don’t know how to build the structure into your day?

This course will help anyone who wants to begin a project or initiate a regular writing practice in a way that is low-stress, adaptable, and effective. Here, we focus on process: how one idea, day, or freewrite can lead to something more. We also review basic elements of story, and you’ll generate plenty of new work in response to prompts. In the final week, you’ll start to consider putting ideas together into a structure—and you’ll have the tools to go back and do it all again, generating more writing and building your project or practice.

Each week provides:

  • DAILY WRITING PROMPTS to help you generate new writing
  • INSPIRATION in the form of written lectures and selected readings

After the course closes, you will receive a zip file containing all of the course content and the work you developed during the month. You’ll also continue to be a member of our Creative Nonfiction Writing Classes' Community Page where you can share writings and calls for submissions, recommend books, and stay connected with other writers.

What we mean by "Self-Guided."

Are you enrolling with a friend? Please add their name to the purchase order window. Otherwise you may be put in different sections.

Complete Syllabus

Week 1: The Basics
This week you will consider the building blocks of story. You will have a chance to think about the elements of craft and about how a story is put together on a micro and macro level. You will also break down the process of writing, both cognitively and practically.

Week 2: Digging Deeper Into Character, Setting, Point of View & Voice
As you dig deeper into the building blocks of story, you will begin to develop characters and setting, consider the kinds of details you want to include, play around with point of view, and find your voice emerging. These exercises help you understand various approaches for your work and give you options for developing these key aspects of story, while also moving your story or project forward.

Week 3: Structure and What It Can Teach Us
This week you’ll look at different approaches to structure, both micro and macro. You will consider what a scene is and how to create one, how scenes can come together to make a larger essay or chapter or story, and how these larger pieces of text come together in a full narrative arc. You will have a chance to try chronological and other structures, and to consider how the structure you choose might  also can help better understand your story - where you think it begins and ends, and what you need to include in it.

Week 4: Revision And Publishing (If You Want To) Or Keeping It Going
In the final week, you will think about where you’re headed next. Do you want to potentially publish the work you’ve started work as an essay or book? Maybe you want something to share with family or friends. Or perhaps you want to work on revising your project for yourself. We will look at revision exercises you can do by yourself and with others, on both the sentence level and project level. We will also have a brief overview of publishing options and how to work toward publishing, if that is what you want. Also we’ll have tips and approaches for keeping your new writing practice going, no matter your goals.


Course designed by Suzanne Cope. Suzanne Cope is the author of the book Small Batch: Pickles, Cheese, Chocolate, Spirits and the Return of Artisanal Food and the upcoming Power Hungry: The Women Who Fed the Civil Rights Movement and the Government's Quest to Stop Them (2021). Her essays and articles have appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, NPR, Washington Post, Creative Nonfiction, among others. She has a PhD in Adult Learning (with a focus on teaching writing) and an MFA in creative nonfiction and teaches writing at New York University.

See schedule of all available classes »

Refund and cancellation policies

By 5pm ET, January 19th participants can request a refund or credit transfer.
After 5pm ETJanuary 19th no credit transfers can be issued.

PLEASE NOTE: It may take a little while for us to process your order and send you the link to the course. If you purchase the course before its start date and haven't received the link by the morning of January 18th, please email us at information@creativenonfiction.org. If you purchased the course on/afterJanuary 15th, please expect three days to process your registration.